Spartanburg city leaders agree to $300 million baseball stadium deal

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:48 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg city council agreed to move forward with the development plan for the new baseball stadium project. They’re calling it the largest economic development project in the city’s history.

“We’re reaching a half a billion dollars in investment in Spartanburg,” said Mayor Jerome Rice.

The lots won’t be empty much longer. Leaders agreed on a deal with developers.

“We believe it will transition Spartanburg to a whole new level of economic activity and opportunity for the residents that live here,” said Chris Story, the Spartanburg City Manager.

In addition to the 3,500-seat baseball stadium, more than $300 million dollars in private investment will fund 200,000 square feet of office space, over 375 apartments, a 150-room hotel, and 1,500 structured parking spaces in 3 parking garages. The city will pitch in with revenue mainly from the hospitality tax. Money will also come from the county accommodations tax and state grants.

Some city leaders did have concerns about the deal. But the city manager says it’s “near perfect,” and there’s not much time to debate if they want to reach the goal— opening the stadium in the Spring of 2025.

“Does the city believe the benefits of the project outweigh the costs?” Asked one resident during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The first concern was that the deal doesn’t allow the city to provide incentives for new hotels until 3 years after the stadium hotel is built. Plus, no affordable or workforce units will be offered in the apartments.

“We’re unique, not because of the billions of dollars in economic mobility, we’re unique because of our intentionality in not forgetting marginalized communities,” said another resident during the meeting.

Story says higher price units will relieve pressure on the housing market.

“We have to consider in the larger scheme of everything that we’re working on,” said Meghan Smith, City Councilor for District 1.

We’re still waiting on the new renderings for the project. Story says they could come as soon as next month.